Why it works

One colour used throughout your kitchen (or indeed any room) means there’s less for the eye to read. Multiple shades will switch your focus, as you read one colour to the next, and creates more obvious dynamism, whereas a single colour simplifies your scheme and provides a constant. And with that comes serenity. Colour alone will of course not establish tranquility, but it’ll certainly help in a big way. 

One colour will also make a room feel larger

Just as mirrors positioned cleverly will open up a space, one colour used on cabinets and walls connects the two elements and fuses them in a way that’ll make your kitchen feel wider.

Use the same colour on your ceiling too and that will make it seem more airy. How? Because it comes back to the same point about making your mind read. Colour is like punctuation. A white ceiling is very much a full stop in your palette, so you see a distinct difference between walls and ceiling. Paint it in the same colour though, and it’s nothing more than a comma, with one part flowing seamlessly into the next, and giving the illusion of a higher ceiling. If there are architectural details that you want to highlight though, a white ceiling is a good choice, such as in these images where the beams already signify the height of the room and a continuation of colour would have no real effect. 

Think about what statement you want your shade to make

Colour is full of surprises. With the recent reign of colours occupying the darker end of the spectrum, we’ve been shown how deep can equal dulcet, just as much as barely-there tones can. It’s undeniably a different kind of soft and soothing though. Walls and cabinetry in the darkest grey will, for sure, encourage a muted, cossetting atmosphere, but there’ll be undertones of bravery and drama. Walls and cabinetry in easy-going Sage, such as in this Henley kitchen, is equally as deserving of those attributes, but it has closer connotations with peace and quiet. Every colour has its own agenda – hidden and not. 

And as ever, work in layers

A point we touch on frequently. Repetition of colour and material in a room provides steady ground upon which you can build a scheme. But a point of difference needs to come in somewhere. The only time a totally consistent tone works is in an art installation to highlight the absurdity of how it would look in real life. In a kitchen, the walls and the cabinetry are the protagonists, and they perform together beautifully, but the rest of the cast need to create a richer environment, supporting them to put on the most exquisite show. 

Without the ceramic Belfast sink, without the oak worktop, without the aged timber beams, without the flagstones, without the propped-up chopping board, this interpretation of our Henley kitchen would’ve felt flat. But with them, it flies.